Q: My daughter is going to college this fall and wants to decorate her dorm room with some posters. My problem is buying frames for them is going to cost a fortune. How can I get by as cheaply as possible and still have the posters look good on the wall?
A: Buying picture frames can do serious damage to your wallet — especially big ones for posters. One approach is to see what you can find at Goodwill, the Salvation Army or Savers. Visiting a couple of rummage sales might be a solution. But frames to hold a 24-inch by 36-inch poster are going to be few and far between.
You could mount the poster on some tag board for a couple of bucks. Then buy a sheet of clear acrylic. One that is 1/16th (.060) thick should be heavy enough. A piece 2-feet-by-4 feet will set you back about $15. It is easy to cut with a fine-toothed saw or score it with a utility knife and snap it. A light sanding will restore the cut edge and it can be polished. Tape the acrylic to the tag board and you have an instant modern frame. An alternative would be to use two pieces of acrylic with the poster sandwiched between them. Use decorative stickers you can get at a paper or hobby store to attach the two sheets together.
Acrylic weighs about half of what glass would so you can hang it with a fabric picture hanger glued to the tag board or plastic sheet. Or, to avoid putting a hole in the dorm room wall, buy some Command strips made by 3M. These strips stick a picture hanger to the wall and leave no marks when removed. And 3M even makes poster strips.